So, Macedonia totally gets props for having a museum with the longest name of any museum I have ever visited. 😉
The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence focuses on Macedonia’s rebellion against the Ottoman Empire (early 1900s) through World Wars I and II until the end of its communist rule in 1991.
Some interesting things I learned:
Ellen Stone was an American missionary living in Macedonia. She was kidnapped and held captive for 6 months by a revolutionary group looking to fund their uprising against the Ottoman Empire. They eventually got the money they wanted and set Ms. Stone free. This is considered to be the first time an American was ever held hostage overseas.
During the second world war, Macedonia was not recognized as a country. Macedonians fought with the armies of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece.
In 1944, Macedonia was recognized as an independent state and its language was finally recognized.
The Macedonian declaration of independence was signed in 1991.
A few things to note about The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence:
Entrance fee: 300 Denar (about 4.80 Euro)
You can only walk through the museum as part of a guided tour.
The museum offers tours in English.
No photos are allowed inside the museum aside from the entrance hall. I was bad and snuck around the corner to snap three photos inside. Normally I try to respect “no photography” rules but this one just seemed excessive.
Mannequins are heavily used in the exhibits.
Note: I took notes as best I could on my phone while I was touring the museum. Apologies if any information is incorrect (though I think what I have posted is accurate).
On a recent visit to Skopje, Macedonia, I took a walk to the fortress in the middle of the city. I had previously posted a photo of the outside of the fortress on a different visit to Skopje:
You enter the fortress by crossing through a public park. There was a gate with a stop sign, but an older man selling bottles of water by the entrance just waved me through. I’m going to be honest — I was less than impressed by my visit. There were no signs ANYWHERE, so I had no idea what I was looking at. I had hoped to learn some of the fortress’ history. I had also thought maybe there would be … I don’t know … some artifacts or something? It does offer good views of the whole city, though.
From a Google search, I learned that the fortress is from the Byzantine empire and was built in 6th century A.D. Even online info about this place seems pretty scant.
On my walk back to the bus station, I took this picture. I liked the lion statue. 🙂